Diners will be able to find all of the deals available in the upcoming Wellington on a Plate festival in an iPhone application which is gunning to become the world’s most convenient voucher book.
Dealjunkie, which markets discounts and special offers from bars and restaurants in Wellington directly to the Apple devices, is the brainchild of 24-year-old twins Matt and Brady Thomas.
In development since March, the free software has already completed a successful pilot with nine Wellington bars and restaurants.
Dealjunkie is set to launch a new version of the software within the next fortnight, and will promote all of the deals available in this year’s expanded Wellington on a Plate food festival which runs August 14-29.
Almost 90 restaurants are taking part in the festival, promoting the hospitality industry during a quiet period for tourism.
Matt Thomas said the software allowed advertisers to offer deals in real time, most likely during typically slow periods, in a targeted way that physical vouchers could not match.
“The traditional voucher system means that businesses have no control over when a deal is redeemed,” Mr Thomas said.
“As luck would have it this is likely to be the busiest night of the year when the restaurant is full and not in need of any additional marketing or the offer of a further discount.”
As well as offering deals to all Dealjunkie users, the application can use basic information supplied by users to attract particular demographics.
The market for smartphones is growing strongly. Research company IDC, which uses product shipments for its calculations, estimates that smartphones represented 22.8 of all new mobile devices in New Zealand at the end of 2009, but that this would increase to 50 per cent by 2014.
Dealjunkie aims to have 100 bars, restaurants and cafes using its service by the end of August, and for 1000 customers in Wellington to have downloaded the software.
Mr Thomas said Dealjunkie would focus on the Wellington hospitality market while the software was developed before broadening its target markets.
“Once we’ve got it right for bars cafes and restaurants we’ll look to offer it to other industries, such as tourism and accommodation and then other [mobile] platforms such as BlackBerrys and Android devices,” he said.
“At the moment we’re focused on doing one thing well.”
HOW IT WORKS
iPhone and iPod touch users download free software from the online Apple application store.
Bars and cafes upload special offers which are delivered in real time directly to all users or particular demographics.
Customers use GPS to find deals close to their location and redeem the vouchers at point of purchase.